For all the many successes of outsourcing, it's not all sweetness and light... As promised a couple of weeks ago, here's another installment of our Top Ten series featuring some of the most outstanding, damning, incendiary (and at times remarkably poetic) insults from the global outsourcing community. The more sensitive amongst you should look away now... 1. “When we signed the deal we were assured we were getting the ‘A’ team. We ended up with a team of Murdochs trying to implement [leading ERP software] from a chicken coop.” We doubt this testimonial will be fully leveraged by the major Indian BPO provider described, but the CTO delivering it has certainly made sure his views are getting out to the market: we’ve heard it from three different sources… 2. “Those blokes are so slimy, they look like you’d get high if you licked their backs!” The rather bizarre – and stomach-churning – image of these two outsourcing media types getting their backs licked can be credited to one of the foremost academics in the European outsourcing space. Good to know that the ‘60s spirit hasn’t yet disappeared for everyone… 3. “She’s like the witch in The Little Mermaid, except less pleasant and with a worse approach to the contracting process.” We always enjoy it when Disney meets the global outsourcing space; it appears that working with this well-known British sell-side professional is somewhat less of a fairy tale. 4. “He was the original client from Hell – and I’d rather do a deal with the Devil than work with him again.” The person described in this gem is a well-known figure in the UK business world, and something of a celebrity: it’s safe to say his TV persona is a world away from this diabolical representation, but then the transformative powers of television are a wondrous thing to behold… 5. “All he’s interested in is money: the whole organisation’s just a machine for pouring dollars into his pocket. He’s so greedy he makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like Santa Claus.” Another fantastic example of value-generation in the outsourcing ecosystem. Incidentally, the person who made this comment to the Outsource editor went to work for the man in question shortly afterwards… 6. “I hate him! When I pick up the phone and hear his voice it’s like getting an ear full of vomit!” It’s astonishing how many similar comments we’ve heard over the years about this fellow (one of the most notoriously persistent pitchers in the tech media community) – indeed, we could probably publish a whole series just featuring him alone – but this one stands out for its horrifically graphic nature, and because the woman delivering it is normally one of the most serene, elegant figures in the space. Everyone has their limits, we suppose... 7. “Going with them was the single worst decision I’ve made in my career. They cost me friendships, colleagues, and millions of pounds. Every day that goes by and they’re still in business is proof to me of the absence of a loving God.” It’s pretty hard to imagine a more devastating broadside than that one, and the anguish on the face of the finance director telling the tale to one of the Outsource team “could have been drawn by Goya”. Poor guy… 8. “He’s a sociopath. He betrays everyone crazy enough to work with him – it’s like he does it for kicks. People will realise, eventually, and he’ll be left by himself – and he’ll probably end up stabbing himself in the back because there’s nobody else within reach.” The Outsource editor still has this remarkable rant on (digital) tape – but the identities of both speaker and accused will be going with him to his grave… 9. “We got duped into letting him take us for dinner: he ate like a ravenous boar, face buried in a trough, grunting to us with his mouth full.” Picture a top-class restaurant, sophisticated clientele, wits as sparkling as the champagne… And then imagine the gentleman described thus, attempting to pitch his solutions through a surfeit of fois gras. Unseemly. 10. “He’s a vile, disgusting, odious piece of filth. Merely being in the same room – no, at the same conference! – as him makes me feel unclean. He is a stain on the entire industry, and upon humanity itself. Who will rid us of this turbulent pest?” The author of this final and most deliciously comprehensive insult has a beautifully sonorous, theatrical voice that made the above all the more compelling, and while no doubt he was playing to the (very receptive) crowd there’s no doubt he spoke from the heart – and, indeed, for many of us in the space… Well, we go: if that doesn't demonstrate what a loving, caring bunch you all are, we don't know what will... Thankfully, it will be a while before we return to this topic - but we've no doubt that over the next few quarters we'll be able to collate enough for a follow-up or two down the line, as long as you keep us informed. You can share any scintillating specimens of abuse with the Outsource editor at firstname.lastname@example.org - along with any ideas you may have for other additions to the Top Ten series (previous articles in which you can view via the series index here).
TOP TEN: (Yet More) Outsourcing Insults